I thought I would do a quick fiddle update — a little time has passed since my fiddle goals entry. It’s given me some time to get used to the new bridge and break in the new strings.
I seem to do better when I can warm up a bit before I let myself get too annoyed with how my playing is any particular day. I just never know how long I’ll be able to practice, and tend to jump right in to playing tunes. Sometimes I sound decent very quickly, sometimes it takes a while. Other times, I know it’s just one of those days, so I put the fiddle away and get back to it another time. I still have T. Fiddle at the moment, and I have to admit that while I still prefer the fiddle bridge and the wound E string on Aisling, the sound is better on T. Fiddle. I’m not sure if I will keep buying these particular strings or try another set, but I’m sure there will always be something about Aisling that’s not quite right. Still, the new items have helped, and that’s what I have to work with.
I tried to play along with music by ear once (haven’t had a chance to attempt it again since), and it wasn’t very good understandably. It’s going to take some time to get used to doing that, although in the past I’ve had better luck trying to play simple parts from different music (non-session, regular music CDs that I was more familiar with). I had some trouble hearing the music enough to pick out the melody (my first attempt unfortunately had a particularly loud background noise saturated session), but I managed to get it a few times even if it was clumsy. I’ll just have to try it more often and rotate the music selection with podcasts, CDs, and whatever else inspires me to play along.
As I’ve mentioned, I seem to be jumping back in to playing tunes from sheet music. I’ve memorized a few songs (I still want to really make sure I won’t forget them when I move on to others), and have tried to recall some I used to play regularly. Sometimes accidentally stumbling across one or two in my memory and wondering what it was! Ha! Two songs I’ve been working on had one or two bits of ornamentation written in the music already, and I’ve had fun playing them. I got so comfortable adding the extra in when I was ready for them, that I actually added a roll in automatically to another song. I definitely plan to keep trying to do that where I can.
One of the best things that has happened has been chatting with some other musicians. I had posted on a non-music forum and talked a bit about my troubles and things I wished I had been able to do in the beginning. I was pleased to hear from another fiddler that he had been through a similar situation. It was reassuring to be able to vent frustrations and chat about fiddles and music in general. That’s just one of those great things about the internet! There is so much information out there, and people willing to chat and share help and experiences. I look forward to meeting others and sharing both good and bad stories about our journeys learning to play an instrument!